Jan Žižka of the Chalice
How an Old, Blind General Defied the Catholic Church, Unified the Hussite Movement, and Reshaped the Bohemian Reformation
Popular conceptions of the Bohemian Reformation (when it is considered at all) depict a movement governed entirely by the theology of Jan Hus. Though this isn't entirely incorrect, it ignores the evolving social context of 15th century Bohemia and the impact of non-clerical leaders in the formation of popular theology. This paper contends that, fueled by Jan Žižka's martial mission and protected by his seemingly miraculous victories on the battlefield, the Hussite movement radicalized under his leadership, deviating significantly from Hus’s stated goals. I hope to show the central role laypeople can have on theological development and illuminate a crucial transformational factor in the Hussite Reformation.